Suspect of Murder at Request Asked for Advice Online

Society Lifestyle

Kyoto, July 27 (Jiji Press)--One of the two doctors arrested for allegedly murdering a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, at her request had sought advice, on an internet discussion board, on ways to keep acts of euthanasia from being revealed, it was learned Monday.

Yoshikazu Okubo, 42, and Naoki Yamamoto, 43, were arrested by police on Thursday on suspicion of killing the ASL patient, Yuri Hayashi, 51, by administering a lethal drug to her at her apartment in the western Japan city of Kyoto on Nov. 30 last year.

Okubo is believed to have started to contact Hayashi through Twitter at least around a year before the killing. Hayashi is seen to have requested the doctor to kill her during the online interaction, and the police department of Kyoto Prefecture is investigating the internet board in connection to the incident.

The discussion board, titled “euthanasia research group,” was set up on May 1, 2019, under Okubo’s Twitter account name, according to investigative sources. Noting that it was launched due to euthanasia not being legal in Japan, Okubo wrote on the board, “I want to share insight and experience in order to change the situation in which people who want to peacefully end their lives are being forced to live long.”

He also wrote posts such as “I want to share tips on letting people die quietly” and “I also think that knowledge on...how to avoid (assisted suicide) from being found out is necessary.”

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press